Never too tyred to upcycle

Zaireezal (seated right) resting on a tyre that was repurposed into colourful furniture that lends a fresh look to the office. – Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

USED car tyres dumped on roadsides and ditches are being salvaged to be turned into attractive pieces of furniture such as coffee table, spool seat and leg rest.

This move is also to keep tyres from being discarded at landfills.

Klang Municipal Council (MPK) Environmental Services Department director Zaireezal Ahmad Zainuddin, 46, has been carting back used tyres to the council’s workshop.

They are then repurposed into furniture and decorative pieces with the aim of helping the environment.

“Used tyres do not have to be dumped at landfills. With a little creative energy, this raw material can be upcycled into furniture.

“Going on YouTube, I picked up do-it-yourself (DIY) ideas to turn old tyres into spool seats covered with plywood, fabric and coloured nylon ropes,” he said.

Zaireezal said one good factor that helped him think out of the box was the support from department employees.

They pushed it further to make coffee tables, swings for children and even planter boxes to be placed around the department premises.

His co-worker, environmental health officer Woo Lee Tay said the coffee table and spool seats were made of a complete tyre wrapped in coloured nylon rope and the hole in the tyre was covered with plywood and glued with sponge and fabric.

Woo added that workers even turned bottle caps into art works.

Zaireezal, a father of four, said his wife Arizaini Abdullah, 44, inspired him to push forward his DIY skills after he made a shoe rack using discarded plywood and mosaic pieces from renovation debris dumped at roadsides.

“Arizaini also taught me to turn single-use plastic spoons as frames for mirrors and clocks.

“We collected the used spoons after a recent Hari Raya luncheon, washed and spray painted them,” he said, adding that visitors to his office in Jalan Bandaran were captivated with the upcycled pieces.

On weekends, Zaireezal holds workshops with his workers where half a day is spent making the furniture and planter boxes with used tyres and signboards.

“The cost of creating upcycled spool seats and coffee tables is minimal. We have to buy plywood, electrical cutter, nylon wire, paint, fabric and glue. It is rewarding to do such projects as we are responding to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to protect the environment,” he said.

Zaireezal now plans to make furniture from used tyres for schools in Klang as a way to send the message on upcycling used items.

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